Men... who are the women that inspire you the most?

Yea, I know this sounds outrageously sexist, but from an intellectual POV there aren’t that many women who inspire me. I’m an engineer, and I have only met two or three female engineers whom I was impressed with. I’m certainly not saying more don’t exist; I just haven’t met many. And the vast majority of female musical artists, IMO, can’t write music. They’re famous because they look good.

Here’s a list of mine. The list need not be comprised of only famous or semi-famous people. They can be relatives or personal acquaintances, too.

Bonnie Baker. She’s an electrical circuit designer. A real expert on op-amps, ADCs, and active filters. One of the best, IMO. Worked at Burr-Brown for many years, and now works for Microchip. As an EE, I enjoy her articles more than Bob Pease’s.

Joni Mitchell. Joni was one of the most talented song writers and musical artists of the 20th century. Just try to find one female musical artist today who can hold a candle to Joni. See, you can’t. Because they don’t exist.

The Storage Sisters. I work with them. They’re amazing… very smart (both are engineers) and very driven. Completely focused on their work. One evening last week, while I was getting ready to leave work, I noticed Tara was getting ready to run outside. It was dark, cold, windy, and rainy outside, yet here she was getting ready to run 10 or 15 miles. I felt quite inferior. :o

Ayn Rand. Yea, say what you want about Rand. But it can’t be denied she was a great thinker. Had a lot of depth in her noggin.

My Mother. Went through some very tough times after my parents split. Yet never accepted any welfare of any kind. The hardest working woman I have ever known.

Came in here to cast a vote for Joni, but the case has already been made, and made strongly. Crafter Man, you understand about her politics and all, don’t you?

The list for me begins and ends with my mother. As generic as that may sound, I mean it deeply. My parents divorced when I was six years old, and my mom and I lived in a pretty crappy neighborhood in South Central LA. My mom worked her ass off to keep me off the streets and out of trouble. She scrimped and saved and sacrificed an unbelievable amount of her personal time to get me into good private schools throughout the entirety of my education so I’d have a better shot at life. She never bad-mouthed my father, despite having good reason to have done so. And throughout the first eleven years of raising me under those circumstances, she was also having to take care of my ailing grandmother until she passed away.

Calling my mom a hero just doesn’t cover it in my book. There are lots and lots of wonderful women in the world who have accomplished a lot of great things in their personal and professional lives, but I don’t think I could find anyone else who inspires me more.

So, I guess Mrs Crafter_man doesn’t amount to much…

The ones who are pretty and willing to smile in my direction.

Yes, the list is short.

There is a ‘generic’ woman who inspires me, because I know there are millions of her out there.

I know there are many women in nations in Africa and Asia who have had tons of problems in life (sick children, abusive husbands, war, poverty, disease, corruption) and who responded by trying to rebuild their communities. They become leaders promoting development, investment, social justice, medicine, etc. They may not be groundbreakers but they are people who when faced with injustice and cruelty respond not by becoming evil and unjust in retaliation but by trying to build themselves, their families and society up to a higher level so the injustice and problems do not exist. Those women inspire me, but I can’t say XYZ inspires me because I know there are millions of her out there. If their kids get sick and die from a disease (as an example), they try to eradicate the disease from their communities and nations. That inspires me.

If you want individual women who inspire me: Aung San Suu Kyi, Mother Jones, Rachel Maddow, probably Eleanor Roosevelt.

Also all the women who instead of submitting to our oppressive cultural obsession with thinness, resist it are inspirational. I don’t know how that sounds, but body images are generally used to divide and conquer women (I know women who had graduate degrees, voted and were involved in civics who hated themselves for being chubby). And seeing women resist those urges to self destruct rather than acquiesce to them is inspirational to me.

Also, I have about 4-5 women in my personal life who are all 50-70 years old who are among the people I am emotionally closest to and feel I can be the most honest with. They are inspirational to me too because they show me there are people out there who are competent and mature enough to cope with life.

A friend of mine who has a high level job in the music industry told me that Joni Mitchell is one of the wealthiest people in the entertainment industry. Apparently, when the money started to roll in (in the 70’s) she invested in Houston real estate. The return on investment has been phenomenal. It’s like Bob Hope and those guys that invested in Los Angeles real estate.

Personally, I’m not ready to rank Joni Mitchell up there with the greatest songwriters of all time but I have to admire her investment foresight.

My information is second hand so feel free to correct me if I’m wrong.

Susan B. Anthony
Benazir Bhutto
Bette Davis
Amelia Earhart
Ann Frank
Golda Meir
Ayn Rand
Eleanor Roosevelt
Harriet Tubman

Love those straw-man arguments, do you Bridget?

My Mommy.

With nothing more than a HS education she worked her way up the corprate ladder. Since this was in the 70’s and 80’s; this was no small acomplishment. She worked her way from a low level secratery to a VP of a major corperation before she retired.

Needless to say she retired with a sizable nestegg that I, or most of you, could only dream of.

In her retirement, she acts as president for one of the largest animal rescue shelters in the south west US.

Methinks you’ve been whooshed. :wink:

The great Nellie Bly. She exposed the horror of 19th-century mental hospitals from the inside, broke the record for traveling around the world, and invented a new type of steel barrel.

Not bad…for a woman. :wink:

Maybelle Carter.

Recorded her first session as an 8-months pregnant 18-year-old, went on to mentor Hank Williams, Chet Atkins, and many others, and to become both mentor and mother-in-law to Johnny Cash.

This white hillbilly woman from Virginia invented rock guitar, but rarely gets the credit she so richly deserves, outside of fans of old-time music.

the Cheer team that works out at my gym, walking around that corner and seeing about 30 young hot women in quite inspiring when you are off to a work out.

Hmn… maybe all those women you meet that don’t impress you much at the job, don’t put in the hours and effort you do, because they have kids at home to put through school and ailing grandmothers to take care of?

Marie Curie and Ada Lovelace.

Tina Fey. Gorgeous and funny as hell.

Rosalind Franklin.

Robbed of a Nobel Prize by dying (NPs are not awarded posthumously). Had she lived, it would have been fascinating to see who the Nobel Committee would have chosen in addition to Crick and Watson - the maximum number of co-winners is three. I suspect male chauvinism would have prevailed and Maurice Wilkins still won.

My mother. No one else really comes close for me personally.

Madeline Albright. I’d love to have dinner with her…talk about all those times when she, representing the USA, would meet with the leaders of male-dominated countries. They would have to meet her as an equal…and she would demand it…and yet she was a woman. Oh, I can hear the middle east squirming.
The pins…oh the audacity…wear the dragon brooch right there for all to see. Brilliant!
Smart, influential, ballsy… top of my list.